The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

November 17, 2021 | By Bishop Roy Campbell, Jr

You Say I Am A King

Jesus tells Pilate that He is a king, but He also says that His kingdom does not “belong to this world.”  This was important, because Pontius Pilate was worried that Jesus was trying to organize a political rebellion against the Roman Empire.

On the Solemnity of Christ the King in 2006, Pope Benedict XVI explained that “Jesus did not come to rule over peoples and territories, but to set people free from the slavery of sin, and to reconcile them with God.”  Jesus came to save us, by bringing the light of truth back into our darkened, confused world.  And that truth is that God is love.  So, we know that God loves us.

By accepting God’s love in our lives, we are reinstated as citizens of the Kingdom of God, where Christ is the everlasting King.  Every king sits upon a throne.  No other king in human history has chosen a throne like Jesus’.  Instead of being a throne that Jesus sits on, in a position of power, our King’s throne is one that He lies down on, in a position of weakness.  Flat on His back, Jesus’ hands and feet are nailed to the wood of His throne, the Cross.

Jesus is not asserting Himself; He is surrendering Himself.  Jesus does not lord the power of His kingdom over His subjects.  Jesus gives Himself to His subjects.  Our Lord’s kingdom is not about the passing power of politics; it is about the everlasting, redeeming power of divine love.

Our king longs to be close to every person, even the humblest, most miserable person, so He purposely enthroned Himself to reign on a throne of suffering.  By sharing in our suffering, Jesus allows us to share in His kingship, to join Him on His throne, if only we unite our sufferings to His, if only we place our crosses on the altar with His.  So, from the Cross, instead of distancing Himself from His people, our king draws ever closer to us, and He draws us ever closer to Him.

– Bp. Roy Campbell

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